How to Change Your Mindset When Learning to Drive a Truck
If you love to be behind the wheel, you may be looking for a way to earn money at the same time. You may have been thinking about a career as a taxi driver or chauffeur but would rather try something different for a change and may be thinking about becoming a truck delivery driver instead. In order to do so, you will need to get the appropriate licence and make sure that you pass the test, but you will also have to cultivate a different mindset if you are to pilot one of these vehicles successfully. What are some of the biggest challenges people face as they move up from a car to a truck of this size?
Slow and Steady
Many car drivers like to think that they are Emerson Fittipaldi when they are on the road and they can usually get away with this to a large extent because the car is small and easy to control. However, they need to drive with much more precision and be a lot smoother when they are behind the wheel of a rigid truck. For example, they may have a tendency to keep their foot hovering on the clutch when they are driving in an urban environment, as they are constantly changing gear. If they are driving a truck, however, they must avoid this bad habit and allow the engine to do its work to slow the vehicle down.
You may think that you are adept behind the wheel of a car, but you must get used to changing gear very deliberately and smoothly here. This will help you to look after the clutch and gearbox, but it will also help to keep the load in its place and prevent shifting. Most cars will allow you to change gear in a wide range of circumstances, but you cannot get away with this in a truck. You have to make sure that the engine revolutions match your speed before you can implement the gear correctly, so you cannot jam this vehicle into a gear as you approach a corner too quickly.
Using All the Mirrors
When you drive a car, you may be instinctively aware of other vehicles around you, but you have to practice your level of awareness when you jump into your truck. You will definitely need to use the mirrors on each side a lot more and will especially need to look out for small cars or cyclists. They may tend to come into your blind spot, so you need to predict such situations with care. Certainly, you may be used to using the mirror that is nearest to you on your car but very rarely looking at the mirror on the opposite side.
Taking It Slowly
Practice makes perfect, and you should enrol in medium rigid truck training with competent instructors. This will set you up perfectly before you take your test.